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“Consider "Friday After 5"!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Aquarium, Baltimore

National Aquarium, Baltimore
501 E Pratt St, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD 21202 (Inner Harbor)
+1 410-576-3800
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Ranked #20 of 157 attractions in Baltimore
Type: Aquariums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Considered one of the world's best aquariums, the National Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures. It champions environmental initiatives by engaging with visitors, volunteers, education groups and schools to actively participate in the preservation of the world's natural resources and living systems. The National Aquarium delivers meaningful experiences through its living collection of more than 17,000 animals from more than 750 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, marine mammals and sharks, as well as through exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences like sleepovers and tours, science-based education programs and hands-on experiences in the field.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Charlotte
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Consider "Friday After 5"!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Three generations enjoyed the aquarium on Friday evening and benefitted from a half price entrance fee. We all enjoyed the dolphin show and Australian exhibit. The shark tank was voted best by all. It was not crowded and 2 ½ hours is plenty to see it all. The group did not like the confusing layout.

Notes: You have to purchase the tickets for a certain entrance time! The restaurant was a huge disappointment. At 6 pm the pizza was stale and the soup pots were almost empty. The concept of the restaurant was “locally grown food” and the design was nice. I was surprised the execution was so poor.

Visited December 2012
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NJ
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Very good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

Another recent reviewer said this was super crowded with small displays which is pretty accurate. It's still a good time. The dolphin show and the australia exhibit are excellent.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elders
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Very good, but not the best I've seen.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Our group consisted of 3 adults, a 5 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. We all had a very good time at the Aquarium but it had some drawbacks.
First, the layout is confusing. The map they hand out at the information booth is no help at all. We ended up going through the Australia exhibit, which was pretty cool. Then we rode the escalators up to the top of the Aquarium and followed the crowds around and down.
Let me talk about the crowds just a little bit. We went on the Friday after Xmas, so I guess the crowds were to be expected. The Aquarium attempts to alleviate this a little by having timed entries from the ticket booth, but we still had a bunch o' people with us as we went through. The various creatures to be viewed were mostly behind smallish windows and the crowds made it a little hard to get to them at times. Some people didn't seem to grasp the concept of taking turns, but that's not really what this review is about.
After coming down a few levels, you come to some of the better areas. There is a circular reef exhibit where the tank surrounds you and you walk in a circle, looking at the cool fish. This is an area where the crowds didn't really matter because it was big and open.
Below this area is possibly the coolest exhibit: the shark tank. There were all sorts of sharks in addition to the favorite of my wife and mine; a sawfish. Very cool. This was also in a surrounding tank which allowed for great viewing. After this, we found the gift shop and then made our way to the dolphin and jellies exhibits. We didn't pay the extra money to watch the dolphin show but we were able to go below and watch the dolphins swimming underwater. After that, we went to the jellies exhibit which was very neat.
We skipped the food court, because places like this always have horrible food, and went across the street to a Panera Bread. There were a number of restaurants, chain and otherwise in close walking distance from the Aquarium. There are also quite a few other touristy places in the area.
All in all, a good time, but in my opinion, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is much better.

Visited December 2012
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Manchester, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Super crowed with small displays.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

Since you have to purchase a timed ticket, I was sorely disappointed to see the museum overly crowded. I would expect with a timed ticket system that they would reduce the number of people in at any given time. The crowds were thick and ripe with small children with thoughtless parents - allowing their children to tap on the glass and climb everywhere. There was a lack docents to help with crowd control. Also lacking were any security measures. We watched as several differ people entered with large bags that were never checked.

The exhibits would've been great- if we had been able to see them :(. I understand the need to profit from maximizing ticket sales but I do not think I will return until there is decreased entrance numbers and increased docent presence.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Nice museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

The National Aquarium offers a glimpse into our oceans and rivers. Worth a visit. Parking and access is difficult on weekends and weekdays. Timed tickets are available in advance.

Visited November 2012
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